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LAWGEF and WOLA Speak Out against Threats and Attacks on Migrant Rights Defenders in Mexico

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Migrants in our region are experiencing a human rights crisis, particularly those who journey northward through Mexico en route to the United States. But, throughout Mexico, those who bravely stand up to promote and protect migrant rights are increasingly becoming victims of threats and attacks themselves.

Meet Ignacio Muñiz Zamora. Mr. Muñiz Zamora is a legal advisor to migrants at the Beato Juan Bautista Scalabrini Migrants Rights Center in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, across the border from Laredo, Texas. In October 2010, while waiting for the bus to go to work, he was threatened by armed men who said they were watching him and the staff at the migrant rights center. Despite these threats, he continued his work defending migrant rights, and now there is reason to believe that his life may be in danger. In a recent action alert, Amnesty International describes the latest nature of the abuses:

On March 22, Ignacio Muñiz Zamora…was approached by two unidentified armed men. The two men tried to force Ignacio Muñiz Zamora into their vehicle. During this struggle one of the men threatened him saying “you shouldn’t mess with us, stop what you are doing” (“no debes de meterte con nosotros y deja de hacer lo que estas haciendo”). The men then pointed a gun at Ignacio Muñiz Zamora, stole two laptop computers and a radio that he was carrying with him and drove off.

In response to these attacks the Latin America Working Group Education Fund and the Washington Office on Latin America sent a letter to Mexico’s Minister of the Interior, José Francisco Blake Mora, calling for immediate protection measures for human rights defenders to be implemented and for a full, prompt and impartial investigation into the attack and robbery against Ignacio Muñiz Zamora.

To read the letter in Spanish, click here.

To take action in support of Ignacio Muñiz Zamora visit Amnesty International, here